Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

24 December 2017

Global Warming: Fake News from the Start -- Article by Dr. Tim Ball and Tom Harris

Senator Tim Wirth, scientist James Hansen and others manufactured the climate “crisis”
President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it is a bad deal for America.
He could have made the decision simply because the science is false. However, most of the American and global public have been brainwashed into believing the science is correct (and supported by the faux 97% consensus), so they would not have believed that explanation. 
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and indeed the leaders of many western democracies, support the Agreement and are completely unaware of the gross deficiencies in the science. If they understood those deficiencies, they wouldn’t be forcing a carbon dioxide (CO2) tax on their citizens. 
Trudeau and other leaders show how little they know, and how little they assume the public knows, by calling it a “carbon tax” on “carbon emissions.” But CO2 is a gas, the trace atmospheric gas that makes life on Earth possible. Carbon is a solid, and carbon-based fuels are solid (coal), liquid (oil) or gaseous (natural gas).
By constantly railing about “carbon emissions,” Trudeau, Obama and others encourage people to think of carbon dioxide as something “dirty,” like soot, which really is carbon. Calling CO2 by its proper name would help the public remember that it is actually an invisible, odorless gas essential to plant photosynthesis. 
Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is arguably the most misinformed of the lot, saying in a recent interview that “polluters should pay.” She too either does not know that CO2 is not a pollutant, or she is deliberately misleading people.
Like many of her political peers, McKenna dismisses credentialed PhD scientists who disagree with her approach, labelling them “deniers.” She does not seem to understand that questioning scientific hypotheses, even scientific theories, is what all scientists should do, if true science is to advance.
That is why the Royal Society’s official motto is “Nullius in verba,” Latin for “Take nobody's word for it.” Ironically, the Society rarely practices this approach when it comes to climate change.
Mistakes such as those made by McKenna are not surprising, considering that from the outset the entire claim of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) was built on falsehoods and spread with fake news. 
The plot to deceive the world about human-caused global warming gathered momentum right after the World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) created the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
After spending five days at the U.N. with Maurice Strong, the first executive director of UNEP, Hamilton Spectator investigative reporter Elaine Dewar concluded that the overarching objective of the IPCC was political, not scientific. “Strong was using the U.N. as a platform to sell a global environment crisis and the global governance agenda,” she wrote.
The political agenda required “credibility” to accomplish the deception. It also required some fake news for momentum. Ideally, this would involve testimony from a scientist before a legislative committee. 
U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO) was fully committed to the political agenda and the deception. As he explained in a 1993 comment, “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.…” 
In 1988 Wirth was in a position to jump-start the climate alarm. He worked with colleagues on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to organize and orchestrate a June 23, 1988 hearing where the lead witness would be Dr. James Hansen, then the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Wirth explained in a 2007 interview with PBS Frontline:
“We knew there was this scientist at NASA, who had really identified the human impact before anybody else had done so and was very certain about it. So, we called him up and asked him if he would testify.”
Hansen did not disappoint. The New York Times reported on June 23, 1988: “Today Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration told a Congressional committee that it was 99 percent certain that the warming trend was not a natural variation, but was caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide and other artificial gases in the atmosphere.”
Specifically, Hansen told the committee, “Global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming…. It is already happening now.”
Hansen also testified: “The greenhouse effect has been detected, and it is changing our climate now…. We have already reached the point where the greenhouse effect is important.”
Wirth, who presided at the hearing, was pre-disposed to believe Hansen and told the committee. “As I read it, the scientific evidence is compelling: the global climate is changing as the earth's atmosphere gets warmer,” Wirth said. “Now the Congress must begin to consider how we are going to slow or halt that warming trend, and how we are going to cope with the changes that may already be inevitable.” 
More than any other event, that single hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee publicly initiated the climate scare, the biggest deception in history. It created an unholy alliance between a bureaucrat and a politician, which was bolstered by the U.N. and the popular press – leading to the hoax being accepted in governments, industry boardrooms, schools and churches all across the world.
Dr. John S. Theon, Hansen’s former supervisor at NASA, wrote to the Senate Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. “Hansen was never muzzled, even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.”
Hansen never abandoned his single-minded, unsubstantiated claim that CO2 from human activities caused dangerous global warming. He defied Hatch Act limits on bureaucratic political actions, and in 2011 even got arrested at a White House protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. It was at least his third such arrest to that point. 
Like Trudeau and other leaders duped by the climate scare, Senator Wirth either had not read or did not understand the science. In fact, an increasing number of climate scientists (including Dr. Ball) now conclude that there is no empirical evidence of human-caused global warming. There are only computer model speculations that humans are causing it, and every forecast made using these models since 1990 has been wrong – with actual temperatures getting further from predictions with every passing year.
President Trump must now end America’s participation in the fake science and fake news of manmade global warming. To do this, he must withdraw the U.S. from further involvement with all U.N. global warming programs, especially the IPCC, as well as the agency that now directs it – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He should also launch a “Red Team” exercise that lets non-alarmist scientists examine climate cataclysm claims and the purported evidence for them.
Only then will the U.S. have a chance to fully develop its hydrocarbon resources to achieve the president’s goal of global energy dominance and long-term prosperity for America and the world. 
Dr. Tim Ball is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

20 December 2017

The US EPA Provides Us with the Historical Annual Heat Wave Index

We are told ad nausea by the socialist media, academics, and many governments that the sky is falling because of man's use of fossil fuels and the subsequent warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions.  Under Obama, we were told that this was a national security issue of the highest importance.  We have been told that we must tear down all of the coal-fired electric generators.  We must stop hydraulic fracturing, stop tar sand oil production, and stop building oil and gas pipelines. It is a dire emergency to develop solar cell and wind generator electrical capacity as long as we can find someplace to put them that will not offend the very people who most loudly insist upon their development and use.  A recent issue of The Economist even told us that we must start pumping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere because there is already so much carbon dioxide there that even if everyone stopped all CO2 emissions, the consequences will be catastrophic.

We are told that the last decade is the hottest ever.  So here is the U.S. annual heat wave index back to 1895 now on the EPA website:

While highly unlikely, it is at least theoretically possible that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and there is more now than there was 80 years ago, only warms the cooler areas of the US where heat waves do not occur or it only warms those areas subject to heat waves when those areas are cold.  Most people would actually see that as a good thing, at least if they lived in the area in question.

Of course we are talking about global warming, so it might be that all of the warming is outside the U.S.  But, the climate scientists beholden to government have been telling us that the U.S. itself is the hottest it has ever been.  That sure does tax our credulity when we examine the Heat Wave Index record above.  That record shows that the only catastrophe was in the dust bowl days of the 1930s.

But do not let us dare think for ourselves, because the scientific authorities have reached a consensus that all of us must have complete and utter faith in them. 

Despite their commands, do listen to them squeal as their research funding is either cut off or re-directed toward trying to understand the natural effects that provide us with our climate.  These almighty authorities know so very little about the natural effects that their proclamations about how man-made effects dominate the natural effects are ringing mighty hollow.

17 December 2017

Does Additional CO2 in the Atmosphere Cause Warming or Cooling?

I have long argued that CO2 has both warming and cooling effects on the surface temperature and the temperature of the atmosphere.  The first portion of the CO2 in the atmosphere provides a net warming effect, but as one adds further CO2 to the atmosphere the additional CO2 may cause a cooling effect.  The basic reason for this is that CO2 slows radiative cooling from the Earth's surface by preventing some of the radiative spectrum from escaping straight out into space through the atmospheric window.  However, by the time one approaches a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere of 400 ppm, this effect is largely saturated.

The cooling effects are generally not so saturated.  Added CO2 provides many more emitters to radiate thermal energy into space from above the water condensation altitude in the troposphere.  This is a cooling effect.  CO2 also absorbs a bit of the longer wave infrared radiation from the sun before it reaches the surface.  It has a heat capacity which is 27% higher than that of nitrogen molecules, so it carries more heat energy upward in a convection current, which is a cooling effect which does not saturate with added CO2 in the atmosphere.  The fact that the CO2 in a given layer of atmosphere at a given altitude also radiates energy to cooler molecules in layers of air above it is also a cooling effect.

The net result is that at the lowest concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, the net effect is a warming effect.  Additions of further CO2 warm less and less, until finally a concentration is reached where further CO2 causes a slight cooling, which becomes a greater cooling as still more CO2 is added to the atmosphere.  The net temperature effect attributed to CO2 in the atmosphere passes through a maximum at some atmospheric concentration which it is extremely important to determine.  Indeed, learning the complete nature of the net temperature effect versus atmospheric concentration of CO2 is the scientific task a rational program of climate science would take as one of its central goals to understand.

I usually read the weekly reports of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), which has long been headed by the physicist Fred Singer.  He has recently retired as Chairman of that organization, but the most recent weekly report of SEPP found here notes that Fred Singer has come to understand the significance of the competition between the warming and the cooling effects of CO2.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the 16 December weekly report of SEPP:
Warming and Cooling? S. Fred Singer, our founder and newly elected Chairman Emeritus, is busily working on an interesting question: can carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, cause a cooling as well as a warming? The answer is YES, depending on subsidiary conditions. The notion has been checked by several atmospheric physicists. One issue is putting the concept into a format that is easily understandable, without many highly technical equations. The concept has the potential of partially explaining the hiatus in measured atmospheric warming despite increasing carbon dioxide (CO2). If correct, adding more CO2 will produce a cooling, not a warming of the atmosphere. Does it sound counter-intuitive? YES!
While my discussions with Fred Singer have been few and not very recent, it was my evaluation that he was one of the brighter and most open-minded of the people who had been a luke-warmer. I am eager to read his argument on this subject of the competing warming and cooling effects of CO2.  This is the very question I have been raising since December of 2010 and taking endless abuse for doing so.  Until now, I have taken pleasure in seeing the expectations for the warming effects of CO2 consistently dropping among the better scientists considering this issue, but Fred Singer coming around to the realization that added CO2 may actually cause a net cooling is a real milestone.


03 December 2017

When is Colder Thermal Radiation Incident Upon a Warmer Body?

In my recent articles on thermal radiation physics (here and here), I showed that the consensus physics on thermal radiation is wrong in its belief that black body radiators near one another and in a state of equilibrium emit the same radiation as they would when isolated from one another and surrounded by an environment at T = 0K.  That is, they do not each emit power per unit area as given by the Stefan-Boltzmann Law when they are in the vicinity of one another in a state of equilibrium.

How then is it that one can detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with a detector at 4K when the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is that of a black body radiator at 2.73K?  This might at first blush seem to be an argument against my claims.  It may not be a very sound argument, however, due to the very unusual circumstances of detecting this radiation from gigantic distances and long ago when there could not be an equilibrium condition between the detection location on the Earth and the matter which emitted the radiation.

The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is believed to be radiation left over from the Big Bang.  The remaining radiation has had little in the universe that can absorb it since the universe cooled to the temperature at which electrons and protons could form hydrogen atoms.  The really long wave radiation left now is not absorbed by hydrogen atoms, which are about all that fill most of the space in the universe.  This microwave background radiation is cooling with time as the universe expands.

This microwave background radiation is now commonly detected by transition edge detectors using the rapid increase in resistance with temperature increase as a superconductor warms through the transition to the normal state at temperatures such as 0.1K.  A map of this background radiation is shown below:

Why does this microwave radiation background not violate my explanation of thermal radiation when it was originally detected by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson using a detector warmer than 2.73K?  One reason is that this radiation was not emitted from a cooler body to a warmer body.  It is in fact the radiation from much hotter matter and it has been in the form of photons flying about the universe for eons of time.  The Earth did not even exist when this thermal radiation was emitted, so the relative electromagnetic field energy density at the surface of a detector on the Earth to that adjacent to some matter from which this radiation was emitted is not at all in play.  No equilibrium condition between them has ever existed.

Let us take a case of thermal radiation emitted from an actual body in the universe today far from Earth.  Any photons emitted because that body has a temperature higher than that somewhere else in the universe at a particular instant in time could be in flight for a long time.  Let us suppose that the warmer Earth moves into the trajectory of that long ago emitted photon and as a result the photon strikes a warmer detector on Earth.  There is every reason to believe this could happen.

These are two cases where one expects to detect radiation with a lower characteristic black body radiation temperature than a sensor might have on Earth.  Indeed, such radiation can and does bombard our planet.  This does not invalidate the theory on thermal radiation between two bodies in equilibrium with one another that I have presented.  In the context of the Earth's surface emission of infrared radiation and its absorption of infrared radiation emitted by greenhouse gases, colder greenhouse gases do not emit radiation which is absorbed by the Earth's warmer surface.  There is no such back radiation contributing to catastrophic man-made global warming.

Updated 25 March 2018 to emphasize that a cooler body in equilibrium with a warmer body does not emit radiation which is incident upon the warmer body.

UN agency to Congress: Drop Dead by Paul Driessen

IARC takes US money, manipulates studies, colludes with activists – and snubs Congress

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in France has received over $48 million from America’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), to determine whether various chemicals cause cancer in humans. Of more than 900 chemicals it has reviewed, only one was ever found non-carcinogenic. The latest substance to face IARC scrutiny is glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp.

Not surprisingly, the agency branded glyphosate carcinogenic. But this time evidence is surfacing of collusion with anti-chemical activist groups and class action lawyers, serious conflicts of interest involving a key IARC glyphosate reviewer, and IARC manipulation of scientific reports along with deliberate withholding of studies that concluded the chemical is safe, so that the agency could get a guilty verdict.

Despite this disturbing evidence, and demonstrable proof of the chemical’s safety, the European Union barely extended its authorization for glyphosate use, and then by just five years, instead of the usual 15.

The House of Representatives Science Committee is deeply concerned about this corruption of science, its potential impacts on US regulatory decisions, and the use of IARC rulings by predatory lawyers who are suing glyphosate manufacturers. It sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan (who oversees the NIH and its agencies) and IARC director Chris Wild. The letters “request” all relevant documents and the names of IARC-affiliated people who could testify at Committee oversight hearings.

Dr. Wild’s artful and legalistic response emphasized “scientific consensus” among all review panel members; said “deliberative” documents would not be made available; claimed there were no conflicts of interest among any IARC reviewers; said he and his staff would not be “pressured” by “vested interests,” the media or Congress; and said congressmen can come to France if they want answers to their questions.

In other words: Drop dead. Members of Congress who authorize taxpayer funding for IARC have no right to scrutinize its deliberations and decisions, to ensure sound science, transparency and accountability. 

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It is vital to modern agriculture – and one of the most extensively tested chemicals in history: some 3,300 studies over four decades attest to its safety. Indeed, virtually every reputable regulatory agency and scientific body in the world has determined that it does not cause cancer – including the European Food Safety Authority, European Chemicals Agency, German Institute for Risk Assessment and US Environmental Protection Agency.

Only IARC says glyphosate causes cancer. To help it reach that conclusion, the agency employed the services of Italy’s Ramazzini Institute, which also concocted studies claiming cell phones and artificial sweeteners cause cancer. It relies on Ramazzini even though regulatory bodies in Europe, the United States and New Zealand have investigated and criticized Ramazzini’s sloppy, suspect pseudo-science.

Dr. Wild’s agency has also worked closely with Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the $690-million-a-year National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences or NIEHS (an NIH agency in the HHS). Birnbaum is also a member of the Collegium Ramazzini and has directed over $90 million of US taxpayer funds to her Ramazzini colleagues, many of whom serve on numerous IARC “expert panels.”

Evidence is accumulating that Brinbaum has worked closely with anti-chemical pressure groups and even trial lawyers, thereby undermining the US regulatory and chemical review process and perhaps ultimately forcing glyphosate off the market. She has helped to coordinate and direct these activities, and has turned the United States into IARC’s biggest donor, earmarking $4.2 million to support IARC’s current effort to list more agricultural and industrial chemicals as carcinogens – including artificial sweeteners. Even GMO foods are on the agency’s hit list.

The well-funded, carefully coordinated effort to eradicate weed-eradicating glyphosate has also involved a number of devious, secretive, deceptive actions.
The 2014 advisory group that decided IARC would review glyphosate was led by activist statistician Dr. Christopher Portier, who worked for years for NIEHS and Birnbaum. In fact, investigative journalists David Zaruk (Risk-Monger) and Kate Kelland (Reuters) discovered, Portier drove the glyphosate review, while also working for the anti-pesticide Environmental Defense Fund and serving as the only “invited specialist” on the working group that labeled glyphosate carcinogenic.

At the same time, Portier was also advising trial lawyers suing over other chemicals that IARC had found carcinogenic – and shortly after serving on the advisory group signed with the same lawyers to work on their glyphsate suits, a gig for which he has so far been paid $160,000. No conflicts of interest?

Even more outrageous, as Ms. Kelland explained in another article, IARC repeatedly ignored or altered studies that exonerated glyphosate. One report clearly said the researchers “unanimously” agreed that glyphosate had not caused abnormal growths in mice they had studied. IARC deleted the sentence.

In other cases IARC panelists inserted new statistical analyses that reversed a study’s original finding; quietly changed critical language exonerating the chemical; and claimed they were “not able to evaluate” a study because it included insufficient experimental data, while excluding another study because “the amount of data in the tables was overwhelming.” These machinations helped to ensure a “consensus.” 

Equally questionable, NIH Cancer Research Institute scientist Aaron Blair conducted a years-long study that also found glyphosate was not carcinogenic. But he held off on publishing his results, and did not divulge his findings, knowing IARC would leave “unpublished” work out of its analysis.

This is not science. It is manipulation and deception – supported by our tax dollars, and used to drive safe, widely used chemicals off the market.

Other activists repeatedly claim “endocrine disrupting” chemicals which don’t cause cancer or other harm in high doses somehow do so at barely detectable levels. Another clever ploy claims no actual exposure is needed; kids get cancer because their parents or grandparents were exposed to something, perhaps years ago. It’s ridiculous. But convincing a jury there’s no cause-effect relationship is a Sisyphean task.

The end result, if not the goal, is to undermine public confidence in science-based risk assessments, lend credibility to agitator claims that countless chemicals contaminate our foods and imperil our health, endlessly frighten consumers, and set the stage for billion-dollar lawsuits to enrich class-action lawyers and organic food interests.

More than 1,000 US lawsuits already claim glyphosate causes cancer, and law firms are running ads saying anyone who has cancer and was ever exposed to glyphosate in any form or amount may be entitled to millions in compensation. Other lawyers are playing the same games with “manmade climate change.”

Ending legal predation will require major state and federal reforms. However, the American people elected this President and Congress to bring transparency and accountability back to Washington and international regulatory agencies. They need to use their oversight and funding powers to do so.

Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith told me he is reviewing Mr. Wild’s response. “Given the serious nature of our concerns related to IARC’s expenditures of taxpayer dollars, IARC should exercise due diligence and provide a complete response to my November 1 letter. The Science Committee will use all tools at our disposal to ensure the stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars are held accountable,” Smith said.

That is good news. Too many regulators and “scientific” panels have the attitude, “We are accountable only to ourselves. We will not have any member of Congress or the Trump Administration presume to tell us how to run our business, do science or be transparent.” That arrogance is intolerable.

Even if Dr. Wild is beyond the reach of US law, Drs. Birnbaum, Portier, Blair, et al. are not. They should be compelled to testify under oath, and funding for their agencies and work should be made contingent on their cooperation in rooting out the apparent secrecy, corruption, conflicts of interest and junk science.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.